The first six weeks of this pandemic cut patient volume in half for U.S. health systems. Now, six months in and counting, emergency rooms continue to see patient visits down by 25% due to consumer fears of COVID-19 transmission mixed with increased use of telehealth and other alternate care settings. While trends are definitely up for virtual care, increasing overall volume for primary and specialty care remains a priority for most hospitals. From surgical, stroke and cardiac care to wellness exams, health screenings, rehab therapy, chronic care management and more, your patients have been delaying necessary care. How can you re-engage them in their health and recapture that patient volume?
Some hospital marketers are using industry list-serves to compare ideas with colleagues, occasionally sharing examples of tactics or key messages – but we know a better way. We dove into soviews+, our hospital competitive profiling solution, to share recent television spots (streaming and broadcast), digital video and other creative in market as another source of inspiration.
To help hospital marketers further refine advertising strategies, we reviewed scores of creative samples promoted by health systems across the country. We were encouraged to see marketers pivoting to digital multichannel marketing strategies to engage audiences and retain patients by making people feel comfortable seeking care again.As the pandemic continues, how hospital marketers are meeting the challenge to bring back patients and renew their focus on health: Click To Tweet
We emerged with three key takeaways and a handful of what we considered to be some of the best advertising examples. Enjoy!
Empathy is nice, but action is better. We have heard “We’re all in this together” repetitively as a public mantra. What patients need now is information on specific actions taken to ensure their safety and promote a renewed focus on their health. See how this spot from Yale New Haven presents a creative approach to its safety story and building confidence among patients to reconnect with their care providers:
For more clever points, Yale New Haven also does a nice job with similar ads in their “Stop Putting It Off” campaign, which lightheartedly shows the effects on everyday life when care is delayed:
There are alternatives to filming entirely within your hospital. A full-scale filming production may not be ideal for most health systems right now due to limited time and/or access to the environment given safety requirements. Alternatives include voice-overs with still photography or stock b-roll video footage, smaller-budget filming of your staff, studio interviews or self-recorded smartphone videos – like this one from Cancer Treatment Centers of America:
Physicians may have more trust. Most consumers understand that health systems need patient volume to help them recover financially. That may create a perception of desperation. However, according to a recent Kline & Partners study*, more patients are looking to their physicians to “guide” their health journeys. Watch how Advent Health and Baylor Scott & White Health infuse their physicians to bring patient safety to the forefront:
*Rob Klein, Kline & Partners, A Strategic Health Care Marketing webinar, Consumer Concerns About Receiving Care During the Pandemic —And How You Can Help Patients Come Back, June 26, 2020.
While these samples are intended to spur some creative thinking, the very best insights will come from knowing what your own competitors are saying within your own market. Only then can you truly define your own position across your competitive landscape and develop advertising assets that capture greater share of voice and ultimately higher market share. For that level of insight, take a moment to learn about soviews+, an interactive competitive media market profile tool designed exclusively for hospitals and health systems. soviews+ offers an analysis of top drivers, key messages, and more – including samples of your top competitors’ creative assets – empowering you to make strategic, data-driven market decisions to compete with confidence.
About the Author
Carol Dobies, MBA, is the CEO and Founder of Dobies Health Marketing, where she has been bringing healthcare brands to life for 35+ years. Share your thoughts with her by tweeting @DobiesGroup, connecting with us on LinkedIn, or by commenting on our Facebook page.